Man divides opinions after asking his date to pay him back after she lied to him about having a child

Close-Up Of Shocked Man Using Mobile Phone Against Wall
The man discovered his date was a mother on Facebook - despite her saying she didn't have any children. Photo credit: Getty Images

In the world of dating, there are a few cardinal sins: catfishing, coming on too strong, calling out someone else's name… the list goes on. Lying about whether or not you have a child is also not a great start to the early stages of courtship - but asking your date to compensate for lying about said child isn't exactly a green flag either.

This is the predicament one almost-couple became embroiled in after a mother outrightly denied having a child to her prospective beau, a lie he eventually uncovered during some detective work on social media.

However, the man - who initially made it clear he wasn't interested in dating someone with children - decided that as compensation for his wasted time, the mother should pay him back for the dates he'd forked out for. 

The man later took his quandary to the realms of Reddit, sharing his story to the popular subreddit, Am I The Asshole - a space where people can anonymously post their moral dilemmas and most-pressing conundrums - to seek strangers' opinions on the matter. 

In his post, the 27-year-old explained he has a strict 'no single mums' policy when it comes to dating, noting it's no longer an arrangement he's comfortable with due to past issues.

A few months ago, he and the woman, named Morgan, met via his friend's girlfriend, with the two immediately hitting it off, he said. 

"Me and Morgan had an immediate connection. She was really cute and had a good personality so I was interested. I asked my friend's girlfriend to set me up and she did," he wrote on the forum.

"I got Morgan's contact info and we started texting. During the conversation I asked if she had any kids and she said no. Perfect, because I don't date single mums. I've had issues with it in the past and it's just not something I'm comfortable doing anymore. I told her this and she said she understood."

He and Morgan proceeded to go on five dates, with the man saying they had a great time together and enjoyed one another's company.

After their fifth date, he decided to search for Morgan on Facebook to add her as a friend. However, what he discovered on her profile came as a crushing blow. 

"She had a kid on her profile. I thought maybe it was a nephew. But I kept scrolling and found more pics. Definitely her kid. So I texted [her] and asked her if she had a kid. She said, 'why are you asking?' [and] I told her about Facebook," he said. 

"She then admitted to having a kid. She said she didn't like to bring him up until she knew she could trust a guy. And that she's at the point now where she trusts me."

The man said he thought that was "bulls***t" as he had been clear on his boundaries from the beginning and had expressly told her he wasn't interested in dating women with children. 

Feeling as though his time had been wasted, the man went on to ask Morgan to pay him back for one of the tickets he had purchased for an upcoming gig they had been planning to attend, noting he'd spent around US$500 (NZ$730) on their dates in total. 

"I wasn't gonna Venmo request her for all the dates, as I make good money and didn't feel the need to do that, but I did Venmo request her for one of the tickets and $50 for the dates, around $100 total," he continued.

The man added that Morgan had supposedly told his friend's girlfriend about his request, as the girlfriend later texted him to call him an "asshole".

"But my friend is defending me, saying that I shouldn't have been lied to, and paying $100 is nothing compared to the hundreds I spent on dates. And she still has the ticket," the man argued.

He then turned to the people of Reddit to ask the burning question - was he in the wrong for asking Morgan to pay him back after she knowingly lied to him about having a child?

It quickly transpired that the answer wasn't so simple, with the forum divided over who was the asshole in this predicament.

"I can see requesting the ticket back and reselling it. The rest I'd write off and move on. In the future, probably best to just split the cost of dates," one user suggested.

Another added: "She sucks for lying but bro, just let it go and move on. It's $100. Not worth the energy to try to retrieve it, nor is it a good look. You had fun on the dates and it didn't work out. That's dating in general. Would you ask for the money back if you simply found you weren't compatible?"

"Yeah she lied to you, but asking for date money back is petty and it makes you look really terrible… Don't charge people for dates if the relationship didn't work out," a third chipped in.

Others were on the man's side, noting that the woman had knowingly lied despite him being clear about his deal-breakers from the get-go. 

"Imagine if you decided you didn't like someone and then asked to be paid for the dates, it's so strange," one said, to which another countered: "Imagine asking someone to pay their own way after [they] overtly and knowingly deceived you on dates. He said she knew he didn't want to date a parent."

"She used OP knowing full well it wasn't going to go anywhere because he doesn't want to date a single mom. She wasted his time and money… It's one thing to not introduce your kid to someone until you trust them. It's another to outright conceal the fact that you have a child because you know it will put off many men. I don't think he's wrong to ask for some money back when she outright and intentionally deceived him," another agreed, while a fourth added: "Not introducing a potential partner to the kid, until she was comfortable and felt safe would have been fine and logical, but lying about actually having a kid is a step too far."

"I think Morgan dated him and made sure he had a good time so that - months later - when she finally got around to admitting she had a child, she hoped he would like her enough that he would continue the relationship and gloss over the fact that she lied," one suggested.

"While OP [the original poster] might be a little [petty], I'm not sure he's wrong. It's not that the relationship didn't work out. She lied to OP when he asked a direct question and led him on knowing full well that her having a kid was a dealbreaker," another user weighed in.

Others agreed that while requesting repayment for the previous dates was a step too far, asking Morgan to pay him back for the cost of the concert ticket was acceptable.

"I don't think asking for previous dates to be refunded is right. But the ticket to a future concert is a different matter," one said, while another added: "He should move on from the dates they already had together. But she definitely owes him for the ticket."

Last year, a woman realised she should have simply split the bill after a man asked her to cough up the money for their three dates after they decided to stop seeing one another.

And in 2020, the age-old question as to who should pay on a date divided the internet after an intense debate was sparked on Reddit.